home for christmas – a mega dodo compilation

A very special release indeed and something which we were considering holding back on until our Christmas bumper missive but frankly couldn’t resist and anyhow its out sometime this week and is strictly limited to just 100 CD copies and available as an unlimited download. From the Mega Dodo imprint a seasonal compilation no less entitled ‘home for Christmas‘ – a stellar gathering of talents some unknown, some known and some soon to be known all donating their time for free with all proceeds from this going to the Salvation Army. Now ordinarily I’d agree with you on the ’what Christmas – we’ve just got over the strife and commercialism of having kids with begging bowls rolling up the path dressed in naff looking Halloween garb’ – but the Salvation Army along with countless other charity organisations do a sterling job in helping those less fortunate and not just at Christmas but every single day of the year and it’s a constant source of annoyance and hurt in trying to be proud of a nation headed up by politicians who callously sit in ivory towers expecting the majority of us to tighten our belts to pay for the mess that the elite have caused through greed and cheating whilst watching the gap between the have’s and the have not’s growing wider by the day. Rant over. Eleven musical baubles hang twinkling upon the grooves of this cutely cosy release, a mix of original ditties and familiar old friends season this winter warmer. Here you’ll be serenaded by the alluring sultry purr of Crystal Jacqueline’s lysergic lilt ’on Christmas day’ all showered in a warming glam psych pout ushered by a tenderly trimmed hymnal hue and cosy toed by a magical seasonal card glow of crackling open fires and an affectionate peace to all kiss. Those much loving of honeyed melodies and homely hushed harmonies may do well to steer yourselves in the general direction of the Keys ’queuing up for Christmas’  – prized from their see monkey do monkey released ’Christmas’ EP – this little gem is oozed in a vintage 60’s craft echoing bitter sweetly to a pristine pop matrix as though hand carved by Bacharach and David and rephrased by a youthful Ashley Park. The honey pot – who incidentally feature again later this missive – weigh seasonal anchor with the dream drifting mirage that is ’angel in the sky’ – a gorgeously woozy treat longingly sugar rushed in halos of softly dissipating seafaring riptides all cooed in a mellowing faraway lazy eyed yearn. Culled from their ’smiling worlds apart’ album the excellently named the shadow kabinet craft a similar olde world kaleidoscopic psych folk tapestry as that of the long admired Soft Hearted Scientists, rustic hues, Beatles-esque mosaics, floral flutes and tip toeing string arrangements endow all in a becoming introspective baroque enchantment. Label old guard Mordecai Smyth – now there’s a name to ghoulishly conjure with – steps to the plate with a spirited version of Jona Lewie’s ’stop the cavalry’ (I should admit at this point that I’m not the greatest fan of this particular ditty) though I will say that Mr Smyth does at least win us around somewhat by laying off the full on-ness of the original and spiriting it with a lazy eyed lolloping and ramshackle campfire glow. Sure we’ve mentioned trolley in previous dispatches at one time or another, ’I’ll be home for Christmas’ prized from their 2011 Christmas EP is a razor sharp buzz sawing power popping present that by rights ought to appeal to admirers of platters grooved by the wares of the Velvet Crush. Last featured in these pages courtesy of their killer version of the hollies lost nugget ’Pegasus’, the green question mark return to the fold with a rather nifty Troggs meets Pretty Things festive fuzz-a-rama  fancy in the shape of the suited and booted strut garage beat grooved ’santa claus’ which by our ears sounds as though its been time travelled straight out of an early 60’s Hamburg  club scene and remained elusive from prying Nugget vault diggers eyes ever since. Might just be me but devil’s jukebox sound as though they’ve been sneaking more than their fair share of the Christmas punch for this rendition of ‘white Christmas’ here summarily sozzled and treated to varying attempts by the assembled gathering at Dean Martin and Bing stylees and of course loveably daft with it. Originally done by the three wise men – an XTC in disguise alter ego – ‘thanks for Christmas’ is given a cheery pruning by Strange Turn and re-wired into a strangely worse for wear sounding Syd Barrett albeit as though stumbling under the cover of night into the Spector lair and being kissed by a Christmas fairy that’ll be Roy Wood in disguise and then having quickly read up on a manual for ‘making the perfect Christmas tune’ has summoned forth a whole arsenal of festive trimmings and shoved them in the merry magic cooker for voila this chiming, chirping, children caroling wonderland. Need I say more – a single is expected soon. If I had to choose the best moment or in this case the best moments of the collection then first up would without doubt be the hare and the moo band’s haunting rendition of ‘the snow it melts the soonest’ here given a gloriously lulling monastic treatment all phrased in an archaic English folk tongue and sounding not unlike some ghostly and spectral carol service attended upon by Men an Tol and Dead Can Dance all headed up by those folklorist gurus Tunng. Rubbing shoulders in the affection stakes Beaulieu Porch’s ‘Simon Christmas’ is unreal, a ghostly cortege refracted through a kaleidoscopic viewfinder wherein haunting recitals of ‘God rest ye merry Gentlemen’ are woozily fractured upon a coalescing carousel of hammer film scores and Victoriana tavern shanties all traced in a macabre melodic magicalia by the spectral spellbinding bewitchment of a Komeda craft – nuff said. Essential. http://www.megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/home-for-christmas

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